If your wedding will be non-traditional, you may be a little fuzzy about the details of your wedding ceremony. You probably have a good idea about what you want the end result to look like, but have you taken the time to sit down and flesh out the details that are actually important to you and your almost-spouse? If you’re getting ready for your first meeting with your officiant, or you’ve just now realized that you should probably email her and set one up, here are some concerns you should bring with you:
This is a good talk to have after you’ve secured a venue of your ceremony. If you have your heart set on a unity ceremony that involves margaritas and open flames, and your venue has a blanket ban on alcohol and candles, you may need to rethink what you do for the bulk of your ceremony’s run time. If you’re ditching the idea of a unity ceremony bu you don’t have any other traditions you’re sticking to, discuss what the meat of your ceremony will contain. Advice? Vows? Stories? Readings from noted authors of the first half of the 21st century in America? Write down a list of the important points you want to hit on in your ceremony and make sure you and your officiant are clear on them.
This is especially pertinent if you are being married by someone recently ordained in your state. Whether they printed a hasty ordainment online so that they could perform your marriage, or they just recently started practicing in your area, make sure you know well ahead of time if it’s legal for them to marry you and your dearest heart. Some states do not recognize ordainments awarded in an online venue, so check with your county clerk’s office for specifics, and make sure all paperwork is filled out well ahead of time. You would hate to have to return those centerpieces just because you didn’t get the paperwork stamped a month in advance.
Especially if you’re having a secular ceremony, the vows are a detail that aren’t written down anywhere for you, even if you think you know exactly what you want to say. If you’re hiring an officiant, they should already be asking you specific questions about your vows. If you’re using someone fresh-faced and wide-eyed, this is another detail that needs to be figured out right away. Are you and your beloved exchanging personal vows? Will you share them beforehand? Will you recite vows that you are fed by your officiant? This quick chat will also remind you and your fiancé that writing your vows is not something that should be left until the last minute. Get started now!